Friday, October 17, 2008

Rugby: Wales's New Hi-Tech Rugby Kit Launched by Under Armour

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It is claimed that the Welsh rugby team’s new kit – now on sale – could be the most technologically advanced in the world.

The jersey, which was created by up to 100 people, is made from polyester and nylon – think high-performance material rather than a pair of tights – and contains several features that could help finely tune performance.

The home shirt has anti-microbial properties and an ultraviolet protection factor to guard against the sun’s harmful rays.

The shirt – which will get its debut against South Africa on November 8 – is designed to keep the players’ core body temperature at the optimal level, and to keep them dry. Its tightness helps remove sweat in seconds.

It also features “dragon scale grippy” technology on the inside of the sleeves and to the side of the chest for enhanced ball-handling ability.

It can even withstand being pulled in different directions.

Its durability was put to the test when Wales coach Warren Gatland told his team to try and rip the shirts off each other’s backs during a training session.

“The jerseys held up pretty well,” said Gatland.

But, importantly, it combines technology with comforting hints of Welsh tradition. On the inside of the collar, the word “Calon” (heart) is stitched above a Welsh flag to give the players an emotional boost.

The company behind the new kit is US firm Under Armour, the flagship sportswear provider for American football and basketball.

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